Waverly native Lucas Fagre, who is Turkey, now plans to return home because of COVID-19.
But the 2019 University of Iowa graduate says he is morally conflicted as he believes that if everyone stays where they happen to be, the pandemic virus will be contained better.
Lucas’ mom, Kris, a librarian in Waverly, also faces a dilemma.
She wants her middle son, now 25, to come home, for the same reason, but feels his return home may leave him unsettled.
“His heart is in Europe,” she said.
In a FaceTime interview with Waverly paper Friday, shortly after President Donald Trump declared a national emergency in a live address to the nation, Lucas, who works for WWOOF, an international network which pairs up travel-minded volunteers with organic farmers and small businesses, told his mother that his travel plans have been altered by the preventive corona virus measures taken by European countries.
His original route back home through Norway, which included a two-day layover in Oslo, will now be confined to the airport lounge only for three days since the country is on lockdown.
Then, going from Oslo to Lisbon, and then the Chicago is also fraught with the unknown, as future bans be imposed there while he is en route.
A 2019 graduate of the University of Iowa, Lucas seemed in high spirits on Friday, after sharing some good conversation and sipping Turkish wine with friends from France and Colombia.
Lucas said he is torn between his need to return home and his moral obligation to resist travel, as it is risky and enables the spread of the virus.
He found comfort in knowing that the health care systems in Norway and Portugal are excellent and if he is stranded or if he becomes symptomatic, he feels confident he will receive excellent care.
Both mom and son said they will self quarantine when they reunite on Waverly soil.